string quartet | Worldwide
Acclaim
“[Corea, Burton, and the Harlem Quartet] dove headlong into ‘Round Midnight,’ the strings adding considerable tonal depth and a sweeping, cinematic atmosphere to Thelonious Monk’s classic.” Read More...
Greg Haymes, Nippertown.com
They took my breath away in the same way that the bullfighter or bull would at the moment of truth. Read More...
James C.S. Liu, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

“Friday night [at the Montreal Jazz Festival, acoustic/electric bassist Stanley] Clarke teamed up with the Harlem Quartet, a cutting-edge modern classical group that not only proved itself capable of nailing Clarke’s complex charts but also demonstrated great capacity for content-rich improvisation. This wasn’t the kind of string section that pads and sweetens; [The Harlem Quartet] collaborated with Clarke as an artistic entity that displayed top-notch chops, sensitive ears and surprising guts.”

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Ed Enright, DownBeat Magazine
“The audience loved this grand finale [Randall Fleischer’s string quartet arrangement of West Side Story] in which ‘Maria’ provided a motif throughout the work. ‘Tonight’ was truly beautiful, and I felt like I was hearing the best of the Boston Pops… Of course ‘Play it Cool Boy’ held the audience on edge with the rhythmical finger snapping, heightened by the rhythms of the orchestra.” Read More...
Sandra Schwartz, Splash Magazine
"...they would emerge as one single, unanimous voice, a spirited harmoniousness further crediting Gestalt theory in which the whole exceeds the sum of its parts.: Read More...
David Patterson, The Boston Music Intelligencer

The Chamber Music Society of Central Kentucky and its patrons certainly got their money's worth from the Harlem Quartet, which showed its versatility and range with classical, contemporary and jazz pieces.

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Tedrin Blair Lindsay Contributing Culture Critic, www.lexgo.com
"Classical music can be cool."

That is the mission of the Harlem String Quartet, according to violist Juan Miguel Hernandez.

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MIKE DONAHEY, Times-Republican
Note well the names, because you should be hearing (and hearing of) these players into a bright future. Although they are all young, their artistry as the Harlem Quartet rivals that of the numerous veteran chamber groups that area listeners have been privileged to hear over the years. Read More...
Paul D. Williams, CVNC
Despite the weight of a weekend of remembrance, the young artists of the Harlem Quartet, the composers whose music was performed, and the students who heard it, bearing the hopes and dreams of a new generation, all embodied a spirit of optimism. This was an inspired performance. Read More...
Karen E. Moorman, CVNC
They are already an accomplished ensemble, and their performances here easily outclass those of the Portland group both technically and interpretively. Read More...
James A. Altena, Fanfare Magazine
" ...yet the Harlem players produce such a seductively velvet sound and phrase so intuitively and exultantly that any potential difficulties seem to melt away." Read More...
Julian Haylock, The Strad Magazine

A passionate, young, multi-ethnic quartet - especially one that looks like it's having fun - makes a good case for the classics, especially in urban schools.

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Lawrence Cosentino, City Pulse
Gifts of Color and Delicacy
...and the [Harlem] quartet, with its gifts of color and delicacy, presiding sensitively over the introspection and resignation of Turina's "The Bullfighter's Prayer."
Joan Reinthaler, The Washington Post
A rip-snorting Harlem String Quartet, equally at home in modern classics and combustible jazz, took over the program with bombastic bravura. The quartet consisted of Gavilan, White, Hernandez and Neysmith.

After giving Prokofiev's smooth "Quartet No. 1 in B minor," and Dmitri Shostakovich's skittish "Quartet No. 7 in F-sharp Minor" quartet an unbridled reading, they filled the second half with fun and frolic. Chick Corea's "Adventures of Hippocrates" and Wynton Marsalis' "At the Octoroon Balls" were capped with Bill Strayhorn's "Take the 'A' Train."

The audience came unzipped! Lusty ovations brought them back for a fast fiddling encore.

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Betty Ligon, El Paso Inc.
Also from the "classic" era of American music comes the Naxos release of String Quartets Nos. 1, 3, and 5 of Walter Piston (1894-1976). Piston did not bother much with surface appeal but sought a quality of interiority, which he achieved in these subtle quartets. The Harlem Quartet captures this inner life perfectly (Naxos 8.559630). Read More...
Robert R. Reilly, Catholic News Agency
The UNC Charlotte Chamber Music Festival presented The Harlem Quartet at Robinson Hall. In the program book festival director and UNC Charlotte professor David Russell wrote that performing chamber music requires "the fundamental ability of individuals to share, yield, and lead in appropriate balance and for the greater good." Performing jazz does, too, which is why the trumpeter, composer, and eloquent jazz spokesman Wynton Marsalis often uses jazz as a metaphor for democracy. Read More...
Meg Freeman Whalen, CVNC: An Online Arts Journal in North Carolina
Harlem Quartet
Video Interview with Harlem Quartet in Charlotte, NC.
---, Charlotte Today - WCNC Video
...The idea for a classical music festival composed with strong chords of diversity started with a plan to bring The Harlem Quartet to the campus under a grant from the Chancellor's Diversity Challenge Fund.

It seemed like a perfect fit. The fund is designed to support faculty, staff, and student initiatives that promote inclusion.

Similarly, the ethnically blended Harlem Quartet's mission is to promote diversity in classical music.

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Karen Sullivan, charlotteobserver.com
...On Tuesday, the quartet's concert will include the considerable emotional power of quartets by Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich. The group will complement that with jazz-tinged music by Chick Corea and Wynton Marsalis - including Marsalis' "At the Octoroon Balls," a look at the Creole-influenced world of New Orleans, Marsalis' hometown. Read More...
Steven Brown, charlotteobserver.com

The players were in full late Romantic mode in Borodin’s Quartet No 2, each providing precise tonal definition to create a rapturous effect.

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Mary Ellyn Hutton, Music in Cincinnati

You haven't lived until you have heard the Harlem Quartet play Billy Strayhorn's "Take the 'A' Train."

The string quartet made its debut Tuesday night for Chamber Music Cincinnati with a program that started with Beethoven's String Quartet Op. 18, No. 3, included Strayhorn's theme song for Duke Ellington and ended with a wild ride by jazz musician Wynton Marsalis called "Hellbound Highball."

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Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati.com
It’s difficult to get excited about Walter Piston, or so I thought... So I came to these quartets with a little circumspection. That said, I was immediately won over.


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Gary Higginson, Music Web International
<p>Walter Piston String Quartets No. 1, 3 &amp; 5</p>
<p>recorded by the Harlem Quartet</p>
The first thing you notice in listening to this recording is the beautiful individual and ensemble sound of the Harlem Quartet. Read More...
David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

"...the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra and Harlem Quartet were all smiles and rightfully so. Their program of rip-roaring all-string fare was energetic, passionate, fun, and most importantly, extremely musical."

" These four young players are musically connected and their talents well matched."

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Lee Hartman, KCMetropolis.org
Newburgh Chamber Music opened its new concert series with a remarkable group, the Harlem Quartet, only in its second year of existence yet already making its place on the musical map. Read More...
James F. Cotter, Times Herald Record
The Harlem Quartet Played with panache. Read More...
Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times
The violinist Ilmar Gavilan and the violist Juan-Miguel Hernandez from the Harlem Quartet, an ensemble of Sphinx prizewinners, gave a commanding account of a Handel passacaglia, arranged by Johan Halvorsen.

They were then joined by the other members of their quartet (the violinist Melissa White and the cellist Desmond Neysmith) for an exciting account of two movements from Wynton Marsalis's episodic and stylistically eclectic string quartet ''At the Octoroon Balls.'' Read More...
Anthony Tommasini, New York Times

The overall feel was of understated elegance and the true beauty of the evening, excellent music aside, was that after five minutes of playing the audience had forgotten race and was enthralled by some superb young artists. The performances were as good as you would hear in any hall in America and several of the soloists may be seen on all of those stages before they are through.

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Glen Creason, Los Cerritos Community News

"An African-American girl came up to me after I played and she told me, almost in a whisper, like she didn't want anyone else to hear, 'I didn't know African-Americans played the violin.' I told her I didn't know that either when I was a kid."

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Christine G.K. LaPado, Chico News & Review
The orchestra gave a shapely, sumptuous reading of the first movement from Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings, with Damon Gupton conducting, as well as a vigorous, unconducted performance of the Presto from Mozart's Divertimento in F (K. 138). Read More...
Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
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